Is A Digital Marketing Agency Really Your Best Best?

Many Dentist offices, Chiropractic Clinics, and Cosmetic Surgeon Centers are interested in using digital marketing to generate leads for their business. However, having a doctor try to perform online advertising can be as effective as patients diagnosing themselves thru Web MD.

While there are undoubtedly times where it makes more sense for a client to run their online marketing efforts in-house, there can also be clear advantages to having an agency get behind the wheel of an AdWords or Facebook ad account and take the lead generation results to higher level.

So when should you do it yourself versus outsourcing to a digital advertising agency?

When To Keep Your Digital Marketing Efforts In House

As a rule of thumb, the less expensive and more unique the marketing, the more a medical practice should handle internally.

What does this mean?

  • Organic Facebook / Instagram Posts
  • Twitter Posts
  • Facebook Live Videos
  • Blogging / Content Marketing

There are a couple reasons why it makes more sense to do this internally than to outsource to a digital marketing agency:

  • Organic posting has limited reach so difficult to get a return.  Facebook has really diminished the reach of an organic post, especially if it’s ‘self-promotional’.  This means it’s difficult to get a return on the post.  If you’re not going to get a return, you shouldn’t outsource.

  • Organic posting has to be more authentic and efficient. If you’re at an event or getting a testimonial from a client at your office, it’s much quicker, efficient, and more sincere to post from your clinic than try to send all the info to a third party center to post on your behalf.

  • You can’t really outsource a Facebook Live video.  Facebook live videos are live videos shot from your phone or webcam where you’re able to talk directly to Fans following your Page.  The is a great way to educate, tell stories, interview a guest (or happy patient) in a very authentic way.

  • Budgetary concerns. If you’re planning on spending less than $1,500 per month on paid ads, it’s more cost effective for you to do trial & error on your own than to hire an outside company to do it.  Any gained efficiency in performance will probably be eaten up by their marketing fees.

When to Outsource Your Pay Per Click Marketing Efforts

Using a digital marketing agency will make more sense if you plan on spending more than $1500 per month and want to use multiple advertising platforms (like Google, Bing, YouTube, and Facebook / Instagram).  The reason is because marketing agencies focus their time on the following 2 paid advertising items: traffic and conversion.

  • Traffic: getting qualified leads to your website
  • Conversion: getting leads to opt in, fill out a form, or call your business

Generating traffics involves the following skill sets: keyword research, negative keyword research, copy writing, image creation, call to action, video editing, audience creation, interests & keywords, as well as a thorough understanding of how to navigate the ad platforms for each of the digital advertising giants.  Training on Facebook includes 85 videos in their Blueprint Training Course.  Training for Google is a 3 days class offered by Google or other partners, such as Cardinal Path.

Also, as is the case with Google, agencies can become Certified Partners, meaning they’ve spent 5 figures or more per month, have passed 2 of their exams, and have performed well.  Being a Partner thru Google allows you to have an Account Representative who’s job it is to assist in the development and ongoing success of an AdWords Campaign.

A digital marketing agency has gone thru those trainings, understands industry norms, and come get to a desirable cost per lead quicker than a newbie.  On a large scale of spend, the difference between doing it yourself and using an agency can have astronomical economic consequences.

Converting traffic means understanding the best type of Call Resource Management (CRM) software to use, how to install, email copy skills, graphic design, colors & fonts, headline copywriting, form creation, pixels, tracking pixels, and more.  Again, a big challenge for newbies is just understanding which type of CRM to purchase, let alone try to manage.

Why Don’t I Just Hire An Employee?

Many of the clients that we take on have hired an employee in the past to handle their digital marketing.  Here are 2 of the most common problems medical practices run into when they hire employees to run their digital marketing:

  • Employees typically only know one discipline – Running Facebook ads is a completely different skill set than Google AdWords.  Most of the time, a person who is good at Google isn’t that good at Facebook, and vice-versa.  In an agency, those tasks can be split up among different people.  Those who are best at writing copy may focus on that aspect of a campaign, while those who are best at graphics may solely focus in that area.  It’s not uncommon to have a team of 4 different people working on a single campaign, with each person working on their best skills set.  With an employee, you don’t have that luxury.

  • Employees can disappear – A common reason for a medical practice to hire an agency is that the employee quit and their marketing stopped.  They don’t really know how to hire well, don’t know how to train, and don’t really understand the tasks they did.  Many Doctors will simply assign the task to another employee who has no idea how to run ads… and the new patient acquisition begins to tank.  Agencies will lose employees but have better contingencies in place so performance doesn’t dip during transition.


In conclusion, the less money you put into a digital advertising platform, the less you really need an agency. If you’re posting organically among different social media platforms and occasionally boosting a post, then you’ll be fine doing that internally.

However, if you’re planning on advertising on a larger scale, unless you have a digital marketing background, you’ll probably be better off using a digital marketing agency.  A good agency has taken the platform’s training courses, understands both traffic & conversion concepts, can work with a CRM platform, and add all the required tracking pixels necessary to run an cost efficient ad campaign.